Friday, January 10, 2014

The Companions (The Sundering #1) by R.A. Salvatore

Release Date: August 6, 2013
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Series: The Sundering

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

This latest installment in New York Times best-selling author R.A. Salvatore's beloved fantasy saga, The Companions moves Salvatore's signature hero Drizzt into a new era of the Forgotten Realms. As Drizzt's fate hangs in the balance, he reflects on the lives of the trusted allies who stood by his side throughout his early life--the friends now known as the Companions of the Hall. Meanwhile, the first stirrings of the Sundering begin. *from Goodreads*

How far would you go for someone you loved? A friend? A companion?

That question was posed to each of the Companions of the Hall upon their deaths as some languished in a spiritual holding place until everyone was present. Cattie-brie, Regis, Wulgar and Bruennor - all have fought beside and loved the drow (dark elf) named Drizzt to a certain extent. Now that love and companionship would give each companion a choice. They could go on to their proper eternal rest as promised to them by their individual gods or they could join together for one last quest in order to help Drizzt when the time came.

Although a few had an inkling what the quest would entail, there were a great many variables that made this journey one of their hardest, most adventurous yet. Those that accepted the adventure were given an opportunity to be reborn and learn while retaining everything from their previous lives. They agreed to meet at a specific place at a specific time in order to help Drizzt however he should need it. In the ensuing years between rebirth and the meeting, each one of the companions experienced the highs and lows of starting anew, found themselves facing more difficult decisions than anticipated and discovered more to themselves than they had ever known.

This book was the first in a new series featuring the world and characters from The Forgotten Realms. Though it did touch on previous events from similar tales told within the world, the book and its plot were very much able to stand alone. I had read some of the earlier books in the Neverwinter/Forgotten Realms series and even played some of the games. But I wasn't as up to date before delving into this book after requesting it from NetGalley. Not knowing everything that happened previously didn't hinder my reading or enjoying this book in the slightest. The author did a great job of using the surroundings, other characters or items to tell the proper history when necessary.

I loved how each of the characters kept the memories and knowledge from their previous lives, making their new life a tad more complicated than it would have been. As with any good adventure, the path to their destination wasn't lined with gold or even arrows pointing them in the right direction. How dull of an adventure that would be! Instead each companion had his/her own set of struggles, including those emotional, mental and physical, to overcome in order for the quest to be a success. Did they succeed or fail? Well, you'll just have to read it and find out. Plenty of fights, pranks, adversity and comical moments to sweep you from page to page. If you're a long-time fan of adventure and fantasy or just beginning your journey into it, this book is a great way to kick off the new series. I definitely recommend it.

The Companions (The Sundering #1) by R.A. Salvatore is currently available at many retailers and can be purchased in several forms including hardback, paperback, Kindle and audio-book. The link below will direct you to the book's Amazon page for purchase.
The Companions (The Sundering #1) by R.A. Salvatore

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